• If you're in the market for a new or used vehicle, it's important to be wary of purchasing pitfalls. Photo: Toyota Marin (2013)

  • Prior to making a purchase, it's always a good idea to shop around and compare prices. Photo: Toyota Marin (2013)

  • Always request a complete price breakdown to make sure you don't end up paying more for unwanted extras. Photo: Toyota Marin (2013)

  • Consumers should also be leery of buyer incentives like rebates and low financing, which in some cases are misleading sales gimmicks. Photo: Toyota Marin (2013)

Matt Shone is General Sales Manager of Toyota Marin. To reach Matt Shone call (888) 594-4173.
Avoiding Pitfalls When Purchasing a Vehicle

SAN RAFAEL – With the prevalence of the internet, it’s much easier for today’s vehicle buyers to get an accurate quote on a new vehicle. However, there are some things that every buyer should be aware of and watch out for, both online and at the dealership.

If you find a vehicle online that’s listed at a reasonable price, it’s always a good idea to do a little research and compare the price against what other sellers are offering. To avoid being the victim of fraud, always ask a seller for the car’s VIN to ensure it’s an actual vehicle that the seller has in stock. If you’re purchasing online, consider going through a reputable, consumer-friendly resource such as TrueCar, zagg.com or Edmunds.com, all of which provide guaranteed prices on verified vehicles.

If you’re shopping for a vehicle at a dealership, ask the salesperson to break down all the fees included in the final price. Since optional features and amenities can significantly increase a vehicle’s price, having a detailed cost breakdown will ensure you don’t end up paying for something you don’t want or need. You should also be wary of buyer incentives like rebates and zero percent APR financing—in many cases, these incentives are merely misleading gimmicks designed to get you in the door.

Matt Shone is General Sales Manager of Toyota Marin, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (888) 594-4173 or by email.

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